The beautiful thing about the holiday season is that it is, for most, all about family and reflection on the year. Of course, the food and presents are amazing too but there is something incredibly special about sitting around the tree watching as excitement reaches new levels and love fills the air. Content settles into your bones and in that moment, life is okay.

In typical 2020 style, however, celebrations and reflections may be a little different this year. With fires, floods, killer wasps and a global pandemic all in the same year, it is more important than ever to celebrate your wins.
The year has brought many new challenges for not only parents but children as well. Children had to deal with being separated from their friends, schedules changing rapidly and some things they were used to doing is no longer allowed. It is hard, especially for the little ones to understand the how and the why of what is happening.

For many places in the world, it is still happening now. Meanwhile parents found themselves navigating the stressful waters of working from home or a change in career, keeping the kids on track with home schooling, juggling a mountain of new responsibilities and remembering to wear pants in a Zoom meeting. Emotions all round were at an all-time high.  But from something so scary, it brought to light the importance of the smaller things – family time, self-care, communication and emotional wellbeing.

2020 has shaped us in many new ways. It has been a crazy year and as hard as times are/were, it is now important to reflect on the wins, both personal and global. Parents got a chance to spend more time with their children. For some of you, family movie nights could happen most nights and for others, lines of communication between yourself and your children may have opened.

You may have managed to get your work finished on time with minimal interruptions (and no children screaming in the background). Or taken the kids to explore around your neighbourhood or just changed out of your pyjamas for the day. Even the casual talks with your child while helping them with schoolwork or on those short walks has had a larger impact than you might realise; for you as well.

But now the trick is to keep those lines of communication and emotional conversations open and continuous. Which can be hard and a little confusing for both parents and children to navigate through. A great way to help your child identify emotions could be through using of the wheel of emotions which can be found on the Parental EQ Parenting BackPack app (available to download for Android and iOS).  The wheel of emotions is a practical tool to help identify the wide range of emotions your child may be feeling and to help put names to the ones they might not quite understand.

Don’t forget that practicing and voicing your own emotions is not only a great way to not connect with your children, but it can show them that voicing and recognising emotions are important.  The Parental EQ Parenting BackPack also has a wide range of activities available from understand fears, identifying children’s thoughts and breathing techniques for when things get a little too much.

Our short audio files can also help support you as a parent in understanding your child’s emotional reactions and how to help guide them through it with support and understanding. This holiday season as you spend time with your family whether it be in person or via technology,
remember one thing: you made it. And for those still going through it, you got this.

Reflect on the year and celebrate your wins. It is the littler things in life that are the most important. Be proud of what you achieved.
From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe holiday and bring on a better, stronger 2021.

We are ParentalEQ – a parenting platform to raise emotionally strong families. To learn more, download our app in the App Store or Google Play here.

Words scribed with empathy by Casey Luxford